Meath senior football manager Seamus McEnaney (left) and selector Tom Keague can only look on from the sideline as the Royal County plunge into the NFL Div 3 for 2013.
For the second year in-a-row Meath faced into the final NFL Div 2 game of the campaign needing at least a point to guarantee survival in the second tier of football.
Twelve months ago a final day draw against Tyrone earned a reprieve, but on Sunday there was nothing for the manager, players or supporters to shout about.
Instead, there was the spectacle of midfielders Brian Meade and Mark Ward collecting a brace of yellow cards each and making early second-half exits.
Meath finishing with 13 players and Louth supporters laughing, even jeering, the Royal County on home turf was a bitter pill to swallow.
How the once mighty Meath have fallen.
Down to the third tier of football in a competition that, even at the top level, is treated as a secondary event.
It was the worst possible end to a diabolical week for Meath.
The previous Monday night at a Co Committee meeting the chairman told delegates that he "knew nothing" about the departure of the hugely popular and well-respected Director of Football Sean Boylan when questioned about a rumour that was circulating.
"There is no truth in that rumour" he told delegates.
After Sunday's abysmal display the pressure will now be on the delegates at the next Co Committee to ask some of those questions starting with a demand for an explanation from the chairman about whether he knows what's going on or not?
At Páirc Táilteann on Sunday a crowd of about 5,000 turned up and for Meath supporters it had to be galling to watch the men from Louth dispense a lesson about how to play football.
Bad enough to lose, but to lose in such a chaotic manner suggests that this might only be the tip of the iceberg.
Meath's soft underbelly could yet be torn to shreds when they make a Leinster SFC visit to Dr Cullen Park, Carlow on Sunday 27th May to play Wicklow. That could be another test that this under-achieving team could fail.
Sometimes it's possible to take positives out of a defeat, but there were no positives from a Meath perspective at Páirc Táilteann on Sunday.
If you wanted to inject some 'black' humour it could be suggested that the aim at the start of the NFL Div 2 campaign was to get out of the division - that objective was achieved!
Finishing with 13 players gave the message that Meath couldn't handle the pressure. And they couldn't.
It requires a bit of 'discipline' to avoid silly yellow cards. At least Mark Ward got one in each half, Brian Meade managed two in a minute.
Wind-assisted Louth were ahead by 1-12 to 0-3 at the interval after they played Meath off the park in the opening 35 minutes.
Louth were unlucky not to be further in front as they tallied six wides and also missed a couple of gilt-edged goal opportunities.
Meath supporters were stunned into silence as they watched the Wee County drive through the heart of the Meath defence with increasing frequency as the clock ticked down to half-time.
When referee Michael Collins brought the first 35 minutes to a conclusion, with the addition of only one minute added time, there was almost an audible sigh of relief from the Meath supporters.
The performance was so bad as to have been almost unbelieveable and it was only due to the addition of a couple of late points from Cian Ward (34 minutes) and corner back Mickey Burke (36 minutes) that took the completely embarrassing look off the scoreboard.
Not that trailing Louth by 12 points wasn't embarrassing, but at least Meath managed the final two scores of the half.
Any sort of a positive would have helped manager Seamus McEnaney's interval team-talk.
Down the corridor in the Louth dressing room, manager Peter Fitzpatrick adopted a different type of team talk.
Maintaining focus would have been the key word before his team emerged to rapturous cheers compared to the muted silence that greeted the re-appearance of the Royal County.
Then, a traditional Meath revival looked like it might materialise when first-half substitute Tom Walsh rifled the ball to the net only five minutes in, but Louth replied almost instantly with a Derek Maguire goal.
That really signalled the end of Meath's resistance and the remainder was an embarrassment as midfielders Meade and Ward exited early.
There was an outbreak of yellow fever as Meath became embroiled in a series of melees.
Louth toyed with the hosts for the remainder as they played down the clock with an exhibition of keep-ball that frustrated the home supporters.
Louth had to win to survive in NFL Div 2 while Westmeath's surprise victory over Derry in Mullingar confirmed Meath's demotion to the third grade.
Next year Meath supporters can relish the prosepcts of playing Antrim, Sligo, Roscomon, Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan and either Clare or Wicklow.
All this less than two weeks after a 'Strategic Plan' for the development of the game in Meath was launched.
Maybe the local GAA chiefs could take a look at what happened with Meath Camogie Board since 2006 when the county team was beaten by almost 50 points by Dublin's second team in the Leinster Junior Championship.
The camogie administrators took stock of the situation and took some positive action.
On Sunday they hosted the curtainraiser at Páirc Táilteann in the National Camogie League Div 2 and played Kilkenny off the park as they won by 2-12 to 2-1 to move a step closer towards promotion.
Maybe the camogie people are doing something that the football people are not?